: / Strategies / National Poverty Reduction Strategy (2003-2005)

Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

4. Anti-Corruption Activities

624. Economic and social reforms carried out since the independence of Kyrgyzstan, have been significantly outrun the capacities of the system of public administration. Gaps in regulatory instruments, incompleteness of reforms of public administration bodies, inability of civil servants to work using advanced international management methods and their insufficient motivation, have led to excessive bureaucracy and interference of the state in all aspects of life in ways that have created opportunities for corruption.
625. Corruption and inadequate outdated forms and methods of management counteract the achievements of economic and social reforms, reducing their potential for sustainable and accelerated development. This, in turn, severely slows down the rate of poverty reduction.
626. Economic crimes have become more dangerous, penetrating all spheres of the society; contraband is growing, also creating a conductive environment for corruption. Studies and public opinion polls conducted by the UNDP, EBRD, as well as non-governmental organizations, express the opinion of respondents about existence of high-level corruption in the country, including in central and local executive bodies, in public establishments carrying out supervisory and regulatory functions, as well as fiscal and law-enforcement bodies.
627. The State Program on Fighting Economic Crimes, Contraband and Corruption for 2000-2003, as well as a series of measures envisaged by the Decree of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic on Additional Measures to Strengthen Fighting against Economic Crimes, Contraband and Corruption, have been developed and are under implementation. The Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on Ombudsman has been approved. The draft Law on Fighting Corruption has been prepared and submitted to the Jogorku Kenesh for consideration. With the support of the Asian Development Bank, active work is being carried out to implement the Corporate Governance-2 Program, the most important component of which is judicial system reform, improvement of its transparency, adequacy and capacity building on protection of the rights of legal entities and citizens and improvement of their protection, including from corruption. At present, the preparation for implementation of full-scale reform of public sector governance is being completed within the framework of the World Bank program credit GSAC/GTAC, aimed at improvement of effectiveness and transparency of public administration, capacity building of the civil service, reallocation of functions among various public administration bodies and transfer of some elements to local communities and non-governmental organizations.
628. Appropriate and progressive processes of economic cooperation with other countries and the strengthening of foreign contacts has, at the same time, resulted in growth of smuggling that has created a conductive environment for the development of corruption. To deal with this, a special component for fighting corruption and economic crimes has been strengthened. Steady growth of customs violations is being observed. In 2001 the number of customs violations identified increased by 6.3 percent, goods valued at 33 million soms were confiscated, which is almost three times the value confiscated in the year 2000. Over the period from 1999 to 2001, state prosecuting agencies investigated 152 cases of crimes related to the misuse and non-repayment of state credits, the amount of damage revealed totaling 20.8 million soms or US$105,300. Investigation recovered a total amount of 12.6 million soms or US$73,100 and property of the accused was arrested to the value of 9.4 million soms. In order to improve the operational effectiveness of the Department on Fighting Economic Crimes, part of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, it has been reorganized into the Chief Department on Fighting Economic Crimes and Corruption (with similar structures in public prosecution bodies).
629. A number of problems are encountered when fighting corruption and economic crimes. Awkward, difficult to understand and inconsistent customs and tax legislation, a complex system of tax administration and customs regulation and control, artificial administrative barriers and excessive discretionary powers, result in the preservation of a high level of activity in the shadow economy, illegal movement of goods, and contribute to the rise and preservation of corruption. Customs units desperately need strengthening and being provided with heat-insulated facilities, special equipment and searching instruments, as well as communication and control devices. The level of performance is also affected by insufficient experience of young employees with fighting smuggling. At the same time, the subjection of specialized government structures for fighting corruption to political pressure and interference by elements of executive branches of government, remains high. A high level of coordination of anti-corruption work of law-enforcement bodies has not been arranged; their authority with executive government, local governments and non-government organizations is not strong. The level of salaries of the staff of law-enforcement bodies and related organizations is still low, which has a negative impact on the outcomes of fighting corruption, economic and official embezzlements and crime. Punitive measures in the fight with corruption remain more prominent than do preventive measures and an integrated anti-corruption policy.
630. It is necessary to ensure active implementation of anti-corruption policy, which should include:

Development and further improvement of legal instruments to eliminate gaps and ambiguities that promote corrupt practices.

Establishment of a strong and adequate judicial system capable of dealing with corruption.

Development and active implementation of anti-corruption concepts and program documents.

Establishment of joint state and community institutions for the prevention and development of corruption (centers, councils, etc.).

Regular surveys of corrupt practices and publication of incidents in the mass media.

Promotion of public attitudes that are intolerant of corruption through programs of continuous information and training.

Ensuring maximum transparency and execution of budgets of all levels of government, openness, transparency and accountability on cash flows, including state administrative bodies at all levels, local state administrations, local communities, as well as establishments that carry out supervisory, registration and licensing functions.

631. A major priority and objective when fighting corruption is to change societys attitudes, to create intolerance of economic crimes, instances of corruption and embezzlement. It is necessary to establish a broad public coalition with sound elements of society as the most important condition for a successful fight against corruption and economic crimes. It is necessary to carry out radical reforms in the systems of fiscal administration, law-enforcement bodies and management at the oblast and rayon levels. As part of their activities in fighting against economic crimes and corruption, responsible agencies should work on the prevention of corruption and enlightenment of the public. Preventive anti-corruption policy would include measures such as expertise in drafting legislation with a view to eliminating the conditions facilitating corruption. It is necessary to improve legislation, undertake expert reviews of existing legislation and provide the population with broader access to government information. At the same time, the system would be strengthened through timely detection and professional investigation of criminal cases related to economic crimes and corruption, undertaking all measures envisaged by the law to compensate for the damage caused by such crimes, the proper use of budget funds, and observation of financial discipline and legitimacy in activities of governmental bodies and other organizations that use budget funds.
It is necessary to take the wind out of corruptions sails, to make the actions of government bodies and government officials more transparent and accountable. To these ends, activities will be continued for the implementation of the administrative reform program, introduction of a competitive procedure of recruitment to the civil service and the increasing informational transparency of the work of government structures. Certain measures will be taken to provide for continuous interaction of law-enforcement bodies with executive government bodies and local government on the issues of crime control in the area of economic crimes and corruption. The work will be continued on studying and application of foreign experience, international norms and sanctions, concluding bilateral agreements between corresponding bodies of various countries, as well as organization of interaction on providing assistance. It is planned to work out the second state anti-corruption program and a plan of anti-corruption measures covering the period to the year 2005.
632. Implementation of a series of measures connected with reduction of corruption and economic crimes will require attraction of significant resources, first of all to strengthen the system of control over cash flows, movement of goods and cargos, the system of public procurement, as well as for preparation of qualified personnel and conducting explanatory work among the population.